Florence. Winter, 1536. A prominent Jewish moneylender is murdered in his home, a death with wide implications in a city powered by immense wealth. Cesare Aldo, a former soldier and now an officer of the Renaissance city’s most feared criminal court, is given four days to solve the murder: catch the killer before the feast […]
Giulia Tofana never wanted to be a nun, but she is determined to atone for her past misdeeds by making her new monastery a success. When an unexpected disaster closes the convent, Giulia is forced to turn to her old friend Fabio Pasello for help. Giulia still has intense feelings for Fabio, and Fabio’s passion for […]
Deborah Swift writes about the background to a scene in her latest book, The Silkworm Keeper: a cruel punishment carried out on women in 17th-century Italy. In my new novel, The Silkworm Keeper, there is a scene in which the sculptor Gianlorenzo Bernini sends a servant to slash the face of his unfaithful lover, Costanza […]
Giulia Tofana longs for more responsibility in her mother’s apothecary business, but Mamma has always been secretive and refuses to tell her the hidden keys to her success. But the day Mamma is arrested for the poisoning of the powerful Duke de Verdi, Giulia is shocked to uncover the darker side of her trade. Giulia […]
DV Bishop tells Historia how valuable it is to get your feet on the street when doing historical research, as he found while writing his novel, City of Vengeance, set in Florence in the 1530s. Writing my historical crime fiction debut, City of Vengeance, was a journey of many steps, as with any creative endeavour, […]
Philippe, the narrator of this tale, is secretary to Count De Lorenzo, and lover to the Count’s young wife. He is tasked with buying young boys from poor villagers, having them castrated and taking them to Florence to be taught to sing as castrati. The parents are told that their sons are especially blessed with […]
If medieval pilgrims were the first mass tourists, then was Venice the first tour operator?
In early 2013 I found an intriguing old photograph in a local charity shop. I love anonymous old pictures of people, especially if they hadn’t realised they were being photographed: they’re like a stolen glimpse into a vanished life. This scene was of a narrow street running between rows of small, conical stone houses, and […]